Weddings are such fun excuses for travel. Whether it is Las Vegas or the Blue Grass State, we seem to make a vacation our of our wedding trips if we can help it! In fact, we just got a save-the-date for a wedding in June in Mexico! YAY!! But, I digress. A few years ago, our sweet friends got married in Kentucky during the dead of summer, so we welcomed an excuse to escape Florida’s heat and explore Kentucky!
We wandered around Louisville and Lexington for 3 days. It was a weekend of quick glances, but we still loved the rolling, grassy hills, the horse barns and the chilled bourbon! Here are some of the highlights from our weekend in Kentucky.
Churchill Downs is an easy afternoon of fun. It is the famed horse track that hosts the Kentucky Derby – the first leg of the Triple Crown races. Each May, the track bursts at its seams with visitors. My parents actually watched the Kentucky Derby here a few years ago and told us how packed it was on race day. Knowing that, going on a tour without the crowds was an added bonus! Even for someone who does not follow horse racing, I learned a lot on the tour and even got to pet horses. The tour was free with you Kentucky Derby Museum Ticket (Adult: $14 USD). The tour guide walks you through the new and old wager window area and to the grand stands near the back stretch. There were no races that day, so we really did feel like we had the place to ourselves. I would have loved to see a race, but seeing Churchill Downs “out of season” was pretty neat too!
OK, so we did not actually pay to tour this facility. However, we spent over 30 minutes looking around their store, taking pictures and reading plaques on the wall. With only a weekend in Kentucky and so many friends to see, drinks to drink and meals to share, we had to be stingy with some of our time. However, with more time, I can see how touring this place would be fun, especially if you have kids.
More horses await in Lexington! I actually spent a few weeks here as a kid, so coming back to tour the Kentucky Horse Park with Michael was so fun. Everything looked smaller, as things usually do when you only experience a place as a kid and then later as an adult. I grew up riding horses, so being around the beautiful animals made me happy and nostalgic.
When it was all said and done, our absolute favorite part of the trip was watching two amazing people commit their lives to each other. Their backyard wedding reception was one of the prettiest I have ever attended. It was casual, comfortable, elegant and fun; everything you can hope for when attending a shindig! And then there was the ceremony site – this church! Oh my goodness this church was beautiful! We need more weddings in our life! Who is next?